Climate change policy

Aviation’s contribution to man-made greenhouse gas emissions is between 2 and 3%. However, if no action is taken, with the expected growth in global air traffic, aviation’s contribution will increase over the coming decades. Air France-KLM is aware that aviation has an impact on climate change and therefore has developed an environmental policy and a Climate Action Plan.


The Air France-KLM environmental policy is outlined in its Corporate Social Responsibility Statement. The Climate Action Plan embodies its strategy to further reduce CO2 emissions. The plan is composed of six main mitigating priorities, on the basis of which we identified our targets and established our actions.

Our target in reducing our carbon footprint is -20% CO2 emissions per passenger kilometer in 2020. In 2018, we exceeded our target.

Air France-KLM is looking beyond 2020 towards absolute CO2 reduction targets, in addition to optimizing efficiency.


  • Pursuing fleet modernization and contributing to aeronautical research.
  • Implementing operational measures, such as applying eco-design principles, weight reduction projects, and route optimization.
  • Using and developing sustainable aviation fuels (SAF).
  • Providing information for customers on their travel-related CO2 emissions and the opportunity to offset these.
  • Supporting implementation of the global sector-wide climate agreement (CORSIA).
  • Supporting NGO-led environmental programs.

In 2018, by implementing the measures of our Climate Action Plan, we achieved:

  • An average fuel consumption of 3.21 liters per passenger per 100 km
  • An average carbon emission of 80 grams of CO2 per passenger per km



In 2009, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) set an ambitious worldwide commitment to reduce air transport CO2 emissions:

  • an average of 1.5% annual fuel efficiency improvement by 2020
  • carbon-neutral growth from 2020 onward
  • 50% reduction in net aviation CO2 emissions by 2050 (relative to 2005 levels)

We endorse these targets and support the implementation of CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) to achieve them. This global market-based mechanism (MBM) addresses any annual increase in total CO2 emissions from international civil aviation above 2020 levels. CORSIA aims to supplement the basket of mitigation measures which rely on technical and operational improvements already deployed by the international aviation industry, with advancements in the production and use of sustainable aviation fuels.

In 2018, the Dutch airline industry presented the “Smart and Sustainable” plan of action to make aviation more sustainable. Twenty transport organizations and knowledge institutions joined forces to accelerate existing developments that will make aviation more sustainable. The ambition is to reduce total CO2 emissions from the Dutch airline industry to the level of 2005. This is in addition to the substantial carbon reductions that civil aviation realizes through the EU Emissions Trading System and the global UN Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA) that give substance to the Paris Agreement objectives.


In its 2018 report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessed the latest level of knowledge on climate change and its consequences, together with the potential for adaptation to limit the vulnerability of human societies. In November 2018, the United Nations COP24 climate change conference in Katowice decided on the rulebook that would enable a two-year monitoring process for state-related emissions from 2024.

For air transportation, the impacts of climate change could have consequences for the routes and destinations served, and affect flight operations (re-routing, flight cancellations and delays, etc).

To adapt to already occurring impacts of climate change such as more frequent extreme weather events, we have policies which ensure safe operational and passenger handling conditions and we regularly conduct comprehensive risk analyses to optimize those.

The size of our network, with services present on different continents, and the flexibility obtained through our fleet composition, are all valuable assets when it comes to minimizing the economic consequences of these impacts and adapting schedules to market requirements.

We have developed special training programs for our employees on the management of emergency situations. We work together with airports to ensure safe operational and passenger handling conditions. When necessary, we deploy commercial measures to enable customers to defer their travel or change their destination, if they so wish.


Since 2013, Air France has been participating in the European IAGOS project (In-service Aircraft for a Global Observing System) by carrying atmospheric measuring equipment on board an Airbus A340.

IAGOS is a European Research Infrastructure, linked with CNRS (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique), conducting long-term observations of atmospheric composition, aerosol and cloud particles, on a global scale, from commercial aircraft of internationally operating airlines. The data collected is made available to international meteorological centers and scientists worldwide, which is particularly useful for studying the carbon cycle and verifying CO2 emissions.

In 2017, Air France strengthened its partnership with CNRS by equipping a second aircraft (A330). This decision has enabled the expansion of the atmospheric monitoring system and the coverage of the geographical network on which the measurements are done.